Chefs at the old Four Seasons space are busily cooking up the perfect menu

The Pool Room and Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick
The Pool Room and Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick

Having a stand-out menu — especially one fit for an iconic location — doesn’t happen by chance. Major Food Group’s chefs Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Jeff Zalaznick have been meeting at least once a week for the last year to perfect their food offerings for their latest opening, the Landmark Rooms at the Seagram Building — formerly known as the Four Seasons. And with three eateries within the space to create the partners have their work cut out for them.

So far The Grill, their retro steakhouse in the former Grill Room, is slated to have an April opening, with Carbone as its executive chef. While no opening date is confirmed for The Pool the modern, Japanese-influenced seafood restaurant in the former Pool Room, it has been announced that Torrisi will be that eatery’s head chef. The third eatery in the space is a casual spot downstairs formerly called the Brasserie and it will reopen at a much later date.

In the meantime, the team has been concentrating on cooking up the perfect recipe for The Pool and The Grill’s menus. In a process of trial and error, they have been tinkering with various dish options. Duck and goose terrine, a buckwheat crepe with mushroom and a variety of American beef dishes have all been put to the test.

With critiques like, “It’s a little awkward on the plate”, “But is it too much pork fat?” and “The problem is we all love the word [Chateaubriand]. We love the word too much” one thing is clear: above all else, the trio agree the food must be the number one priority.

According to the New York Times, “The first thing you’ll see when you walk in is the food,” said Zalaznick, who is eager to revise the old restaurant’s reputation as a place where the food was largely beside the point.

Because the kitchen is not protected by the restaurant’s landmark status it being completely gutted and retiled as well as divided into two separate cooking areas, each with its own staff.

And speaking of staff — the front-of-house staff will be decked out in Tom Ford-designed uniforms. [NYT]